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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh


2012 Archives

12-31-12 - Alaska Intrastate Gas Project To Be Separated From Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

31 December 2012 10:48am

Alaska Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner.  ... 2013 could be pivotal for Alaska’s oil and gas industry.

Comment.  We cannot maintain our lifelong tradition of proclaiming, "Happy New Year", today.  This is because we have seen and delivered to faithful readers convincing proof that in these last four years America has become a different country and will never again be what our parents and forefathers envisioned.  On a brighter note, we can earnestly celebrate the hope and everlasting peace that may come from being personally prepared for the 'new normal' physically and spiritually.  Amen.  -dh

Petroleum News by Kristen Nelson.  A bill to expand AGDC’s authority was introduced last year by House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, and championed by one of the co-sponsors, Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage. House Bill 9, 32 pages in length, passed the House in March of 2012, but failed to find traction in the Senate.  Chenault and Hawker told a Dec. 20 meeting of the Alaska Legislature’s Joint In-State Gas Caucus that a bill based on HB9 would be pre-filed for the upcoming 2013 Legislature.  Hawker said the new bill, currently 42 pages in length, expands on HB9, and is intended to provide AGDC “with the greatest possible power to advance that in-state natural gas pipeline.”

Petroleum News: Chevron raises hopes (Full story) Chevron has made one of the boldest moves yet to turn Canada's LNG export hopes into reality by taking over control of the Kitimat LNG project that has been stonewalled by its inability to secure long-term buyer contracts. In a radical overhaul of Canada's most advanced LNG venture, Chevron will buy....



30 December 2012 9:39am

Governor's Office.  Governor Sean Parnell today announced the State of Alaska is evaluating a potential challenge to two decisions by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listing the ringed seal and the bearded seal as threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).


29 December 2012 1:13pm


28 December 2012 12:21pm

Fairbanks News Miner by Jeff Richardson.  Golden Valley Electric Association has applied for a lease with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to build a half-mile-long natural gas pipeline on the North Slope.



27 December 2012 8:20pm

Environmental Protection Agency: "Lisa Jackson Leaving EPA In January."  (Commentary on Government Waste, By Dave Harbour)

We received an email about Jackson's upcoming departure with this message: "This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."  

We boldfaced two words above to demonstrate the abysmal lack of business and economics knowledge possessed by this federal agency and Administration.  Of course, our readers know that the Taxpayers paid for the agency to spread its propaganda throughout the country via a sophisticated mass delivery program known as, "GovDelivery".   Every federal email should proclaim: "Funded at taxpayer expense."  

We get similar EPA mailings regularly, announcing "settlements" between the agency, would-be developers, environmental groups and others.  From what we have seen, every settlement restricts free enterprise, increases America's cost of living and puts the opposition in a "No Win" situation whether the entity is guilty or not of anything requiring the payment of huge extortion fees.  Massive millions are flowing from the private sector to government or environmental causes and no one seems to care.

P.S.  Tuesday, we received the 'free' email, described above.  Below, is the 'free' email we received yesterday.  Note that EPA didn't fine the company $62,985 for hurting someone with 'hazardous chemicals', but that the punishment "settlement" is extracted for failure to tell the government entities about what chemicals the company was using.  For a small company, an unexpected loss of $60k could mean the loss of an employee, failure to pay rent, inability to fund optional employee benefits, bonuses, etc.  It will likely increase the company's risk profile along with liability expenses.  For sure, it will increase operating costs that will be borne by the consumer.  Multiply that by hundreds of EPA penalties and harrassing techniques employed throughout the country -- whether or not any actual enviornmental damage has occurred -- and one wonders, "Why are prices going up so fast?".


(Seattle - December 26, 2012) General Biodiesel, in south Seattle, will pay a penalty for failing to report their hazardous chemicals in violation of federal emergency planning laws, according to a consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

General Biodiesel converts used cooking oils, fish oil, vegetable oil, and animal fats into biodiesel fuel and glycerol in a process that uses hazardous chemicals including methanol, sodium methoxide, and sulfuric acid. In 2009 and 2010, General Biodiesel failed to submit Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory forms to the Seattle fire department, King County ... and Washington's ... Commission.

"When a company fails to report their hazardous chemicals to emergency planners and responders, they put their employees and the community at risk," said Kelly McFadden, EPA's Pesticides and Toxics Unit Manager in Seattle. "This information is critical to alert federal, state, and local officials to prevent injuries or deaths to emergency responders, workers, and the local community."

Failure to report large amounts of hazardous chemicals to appropriate agencies is a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

General Biodiesel agreed to pay a $62,985 penalty and fully comply with federal emergency planning rules to protect their workers, emergency responders, and the local community.

For information on the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, visit: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/epcra/epcraenfstatreq.html

More information on the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act in Washington is available at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/epcra/index.html

EPA Seal

You can view or update your subscriptions or e-mail address at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. All you will need is your e-mail address. If you have any questions or problems e-mail support@govdelivery.com for assistance. 

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency



12-24-12 All I Want For Christmas

24 December 2012 9:10am

All I Want For Christmas

A Christmas Eve Editorial Written 13 Years Ago Today!


Dave Harbour

12-24-2001 (Christmas Eve):  Gas pipeline news this week is light as all gas pipeline stakeholder thoughts turn to home.  Before news afresh begins breaking after the holidays, perhaps it would be well to spend a quality moment or two reflecting on where we've been this year and where we wish to be in 2002.  After all, our millions of individual decisions in the coming year will produce some grand, cosmic formula revealing the future of northern gas pipelines.  -dh
"All I Want for Christmas"
Dear Santa:
I'd like an Alaska gas pipeline for Christmas. 
It should be in place, producing money by 2004, please, in time to supply 1/4 of Alaska's $1 billion+ budget deficit; and let our politicians balance the rest without increasing my taxes or reducing my services. 
I'd like the pipeline to be 'diversified', too.  It should go to a Fairbanks 'HUB' (where I'd like a new petrochemical industry established by someone for some market).  I'd also like someone to link an inexpensive gas distribution system to every home in Fairbanks. 
Fairbanks News Miner.  Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) Sean Parnell, Alaska Governor, Government support for Fairbanks, Photo by Dave Harbouron Friday announced a $355 million mixture of (loans/tax credits/grants) to help bring North Slope natural gas to the Interior and other parts of Alaska.  The money...would be used ... on a North Slope natural gas liquefaction plant and ... private or municipal natural gas distribution systems in the Fairbanks area.
To be fair, I'd like someone to take propane from the HUB and ship it to 230 Alaska villages at a reasonable cost, somehow. 
Then, I'd like someone to build a line from the HUB on down to Valdez and arrange for Tokyo Gas to sign a 20 year, "take or pay"  contract at a price high enough to pay for the pipeline as well as another petrochemical facility in Valdez. 
To take care of my Southeast Alaska associates, I'd like propane and maybe LNG to be provided by barges or small cryogenic tankers to all our coastal citizens at a reasonable price, by someone. 
Since Southcentral Alaska may be running short of Cook Inlet gas, I'd like someone to build a branch of the pipeline from the Fairbanks HUB down to Anchorage.  See, that would displace enough gas that the Kenai Peninsula would retain adequate supplies for its residential / industrial users for another 20 years. 
Lastly, I would like for most of the gas to move from the HUB on down the Alaska Highway to make sure that the folks in the Lower 48 have plenty, but I'd want to make sure there were enough liquid gasses in the high pressure line that we could profitably supply Alberta with some of the petrochemical feedstock she needs to be supportive. 
Oh, and I almost forgot, please make the price of gas high enough so we can afford subsidies, generous rights-of-way payments to 10,000 landowners, and still have plenty of money for our state government and please build a separate Mackenzie Valley Pipeline for Canada. 
And, I'd rather not have the gas produced at all unless it's done my way. 
P.S.  If you have money left over, could we have some to invest as equity in the gas pipeline and would you please make sure we get at least a 12-15% return on our money?
Dear Wishing (Santa's Reply):
All fathers, including Father Santa, instinctively want their children to have all that they wish for.  However, one responsibility a father has is to lovingly tell his children that we don't always get everything we wish for at Christmas.  Sometimes, you get a present you think you'd rather not have and it turns out the be the best one after all.  (See P.S., below.)  I don't know if that will be the case this year, but on this Christmas Eve, I can now divulge your gifts:
1.  You will be blessed--more than most--with another year of freedom and life in the wondrous North.
2.  You will be given intelligence, courage, friends, armaments and vast resources.
3.  You will be given the freedom to break your own trail, to direct your own future path in the wonderful frontier before you.
4.  You will be blessed with the politicians that you, yourself, choose to help lead the quest.
5.  The above, basic gifts will enable you through your own wisdom, ingenuity and integrity to successfully confront your challenges. 
Success, the greatest gift, will be highly savored for you will have earned it and you will pass this knowledge to your heirs.  Your failure, also shouldered by your children, will only come with misuse of the gifts.
My greatest hope for you is that you embrace the true spirit of Christmas, use well what you have been given, make good decisions, treat everyone with respect, teach your own children well, and endeavor toward 'endless progress'.  Obtained as you have so presumptuously wished, the presents you requested would not delight you, would not eliminate the fundamental budget problems you have created, would shackle free enterprise and deliver the generations following you into debt and misery.  They represent a child's irrational thinking, depending as they do on the imprudent acts of others and requiring no effort or risk on your part.
P.S.  (Author's note) One Christmas long, long ago, I asked for a new bicycle and a 410 shotgun.  Being a poor 11-year-old did not prevent the dreaming.  After a Bill Tobin, Anchorage Times, Atwood Foundation, Bob Atwood, Elaine Atwood, Evangeline Atwood, Anchorage Daily Planet, Alaska, Great American, Photo by Dave Harbourhumble family service around our Nativity scene, wise Father gave me a snow shovel and a box of shotgun shells, my only presents.  I did not appreciate these gifts at the time, but by spring I had earned enough from the neighbors to buy a new bike and a used shotgun.  To this day, I love my Father as much as I respect him; and, he has never worried that I would ever confront a reasonable challenge I could not overcome.  That year I emerged into the real world, began absorbing the true Christmas message and took the first small steps toward a lifelong appreciation for free enterprise.  (Additional reference: Voice of the Times, by William J. Tobin-NGP Photo, In Memoriam.)  -dh
(See related news of last week.  Photos: Sharing 2001 Christmas and Summer outside author's Anchorage office.)
Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt (NGP Photo) reminds us in this video that America does not have a robust energy policy -- which is especially evident during such energy emergencies such as those posed by Hurricane Sandy.

Petroleum News by Eric Lidji.  Although the details remain as yet unknown, Fairbanks Natural Gas LLC claims to have reached a settlement with the parties seeking to reinstate rate regulation on the utility.  The local distribution company for Fairbanks recently asked the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to vacate the hearing schedule arranged for the case, saying the parties met “informally” on Dec. 10 and “reached an agreement to amicably settle this docket.” The Attorney General and the Fairbanks North Star Borough are the other parties in the case.




23 December 2012 11:04am

Petroleum News.  Hilcorp Alaska began natural gas production from Red Pad on the Kenai Peninsula Dec. 17.  Production is at 5 million cubic feet per day, Hilcorp Alaska spokeswoman Lori Nelson told Petroleum News in a Dec. 18 email. She said Hilcorp is “continuing to monitor the system” and hopes to reach its original production estimate of 6.5 million cubic feet per day.


22 December 2012 3:54pm

 AGDCs In-State Gasline Evolution Sparks Optimism

Mark Newman, AGDC, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Legislature, Representative, Chairman, In-state gasline, Photo by Dave Harbour ...News from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation about proposed changes to their in-state gasline project is raising the level of optimism and confidence of some key members of the Alaska State House.  AGDCs Frank Richards outlined the project's evolution in a meeting with the Legislature's In-Mike Hawker, Representative, Alaska Legislature, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Photo by Dave HarbourState Gas Caucus this afternoon. The House Co-Chair, Representative Mark Neuman (NGP Photo-R), R-Su-Valley, said he's appreciative of the project briefing, and supportive of continued efforts once the 28th Legislature convenes in January.  "Today's meeting provides us with some Christmas cheer," Neuman said.
"I am really excited that AGDC is significantlyMike Chenault, Speaker of the House, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Photo by Dave Harbour evolving and refining its project," Representative Mike Hawker (NGP Photo-L), R-Anchorage, and a co-author of the bill to create the corporation, said. "The new track will increase the benefits to all stakeholder communities and potential industrial consumers."
"Today's news is both welcome and important," Speaker Mike Chenault (NGP Photo-R) said.  "AGDC still needs the framework contained in HB 9 and financial backing."


21 December 2012 1:07pm

Alex DeMarban, Alaska Dispatch, Photo by Dave Harbour

Some Projects Seem More Lively Than Others As This Year Ends

Fairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. on Thursday unveiled a reworked version of its in-state natural gas pipeline that provides lower prices for Fairbanks and communities along the proposed route from Prudhoe Bay to Southcentral. An earlier version of the project faltered during the 2012 legislative session. The revised proposal drops costly processing facilities for natural gas liquids. The liquids are no longer as profitable because the market is awash, thanks to the Lower 48 oil boom.  ***  Alaska Dispatch by Alex DeMarban (NGP Photo).  ...pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. is shutting down its project office in Whitehorse, the capital of Canada's Yukon territory, another sign that current plans for a highway route delivering North Slope natural gas to the Lower 48 are dead.

John Norman, Commissioner, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, AOGCC, IOGCC, Hydraulic fracturing, fraking, fracking, oil shale, gas shale, Alaska North Slope, Photo by Dave HarbourAlaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner John Norman (NGP Photo) issued a notice yesterday of the AOGCC's intent to adopt regulation changes dealing with hydraulic fracturing.  

 (See related national stories below.  -dh)

 Energy and Capital by Brianna Panzica.   One by one, states across the U.S. have said “yay” or “nay” to fracking.  In Texas and North Dakota, it was a resounding yes... and ... North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, experiencing a bona fide black gold rush.  Vermont firmly said no, banning the practice for good. Of course, there isn't any significant shale located under Vermont, so few tears were shed.  Other states have been on the fence.  (More on fracking, below, right)

On the one hand we have, from IHS, a new, positive report on the economic effect of shale energy:  The economic benefits of unconventional oil and natural gas development exist in the states where the resources are produced as well as the states benefiting from the oil and gas supply chain reaching across the country. The IHS State-level Report on the economic impact of unconventional oil and gas indicates that unconventional activity contributes over 1.7 million jobs...growing to 3 million jobs by the end of the decade while generating $63 billion and $113 billion in annual government revenues (this year and in 2020) respectively. For states involved in unconventional oil and gas production, the largest economic contributions come from Texas and Pennsylvania. The top non-producing states - New York and Illinois - with little or no unconventional oil and gas production, are nonetheless seeing large economic contributions by producing the critical goods and services vital to the oil and gas supply chain.

On the other hand, we have the EPA hurriedly releasing an unfinished study.  Even though there is no credible evidence of hydraulic fracturing affecting the potable aquifer, and even though the states have effectively regulated hydraulic fracturing for decades, the EPA wants to "ensure...safely and responsibly".   -dh
Q.  Why do we cover some mining issues?  A.  Because the environmentalists, EPA and other regulatory agencies use similar anti-development techniques to stop or delay mining projects as they do energy projects.  For example, we fear that should the EPA get away with overstepping its authority and stopping Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine project before filing for permits, it would be setting a precedent for violating due process.  It would undermine America's rule of law.  The EPA action in this case is especially egregious in that the proposed project would occur on State lands of Alaska, in an area designated for mining leases.  Below is a communication we received today relating to the environmental preparations Pebble managers are undertaking before even filing for the first permit.  Merry Christmas, Dear Readers!  -dh

We’re pleased to inform you that the KTOO video coverage of the Keystone Center’s Independent Science Panels is now available on our website.  The science panels were convened in October to review the Pebble Partnership’s environmental and socioeconomic baseline studies.
Our website also includes the PowerPoint presentations given by Pebble consultants and panel members, and the results of a follow up survey of people who registered for the panels. We are compiling an independent report on the recommendations from the science panels and hope to release the report in early 2013.  
Finally,  the Keystone Center is planning an additional independent science panel that will review Pebble’s baseline studies on wetlands, vegetation, wildlife and endangered species. We hope to hold the 2-day panel in April at a location in the Bristol Bay watershed. Details will follow.
Thank you for your continued interest in the Keystone Center’s science panels and please feel free to contact us.
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays,
Todd Bryan, Ph.D.
Senior Associate
The Keystone Center
4580 Broadway, #230
Boulder, CO 80304
Tel: 303-468-8864
Cell: 303-440-8190
Anchorage: 907-868-3476